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Occupational Therapy Research Guide

Levels of Evidence

Hierarchy of Evidence

Levels of Evidence Pyramid

Image made available under CC license from Wikimedia Commons

Rating Scales

Evidence-based models use a process for framing a question, locating, assessing, evaluating, and repeating as needed. PICO (T) elements include:

  • Problem/Patient/Population
  • Intervention/Indicator 
  • Comparison 
  • Outcome
  • (optional) Time element or Type of Study

Image result for sackett's level of evidence


Checklist for Analyzing a Research Article


  • Is it clear and concise?
  • Does it promise no more than the study can provide?


1. The Problem

  • It is clearly stated?
  • Is it properly defined?
  • Is its significance recognized?
  • Are specific questions raised; hypotheses clearly stated?
  • Are assumptions and limitations stated?
  • Are important terms defined?

2. Review of Related Literature

  • Is it adequately covered?
  • Are important findings noted?
  • Is it well organized?
  • Is an effective summary provided?

METHODOLOGY: Procedures Used

  • Is the research design described in detail?
  • Is it adequate?
  • Are the samples described?
  • Are relevant variables recognized?
  • Are appropriate controls provided?
  • Are data-gathering instruments appropriate?
  • Are validity and reliability established?
  • Is the statistical treatment appropriate?

RESULTS: Data Analysis

  • Is appropriate use made of tables and figures?
  • Is the textual discussion clear and concise?
  • Is the analysis of data relationships logical and perceptive?
  • Is the statistical analysis accurately interpreted?

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Summary and Conclusions

  • Is the problem restated?
  • Are the procedures and findings concisely presented?
  • Is the analysis objective?
  • Are the findings and conclusions justified by the data presented and analyzed?


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